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New Sprint CEO says plan price drops come first, then network improvements

Sprint's new CEO Marcelo Claure has only been on the job four days now, but has already called an all-hands meeting to lay out his first initiatives at the head of the carrier. The new Chief Executive, who was previously on the Sprint board and running his company Brightstar (which is also owned by SoftBank), laid out a pretty stark and clear path for where he sees Sprint moving in the coming months. This comes just three days after meeting with Tim Cook, expressing that Apple is an important part of Sprint's success going forward.

His first plan of action is to simplify and lower plan costs across the board at Sprint, recognizing that its "Framily" plans haven't been popular and are tough to sell to consumers. He also understands that the carrier is charging too much considering the quality of its network. "We're going to change our plans to make sure they are simple and attractive and make sure every customer in America thinks twice about signing up to a competitor," said Claure, indicating that price changes are coming as soon as next week.

The next plan of action for Claure is to improve Sprint's network, which has had a rocky path to improvement as it transitioned from 3G to WiMax and now onto LTE, dumping iDEN in the process. He said that the network improvements have taken too long, and he recognizes that popular opinion of Sprint's network is not positive. He hopes to leverage Sprint's large spectrum holdings, which is something it only recently started to do with its new Spark LTE technology.

The third pillar of Claure's plan is to start cutting costs around Sprint. While it isn't necessarily a fun topic to address your employees about, Claure expressed that job cuts will be a necessary part of pulling Sprint out of the red eventually. He reiterated that he thinks that Sprint has some of the best employees around, and with the incoming changes they'll have even better tools to work with to make Sprint a better carrier all around.

It's going to be a long road to recovery for Sprint, and changes that Claure begins to put into motion now may take several months or years to move the carrier in the right direction. He's certainly saying the right things right now, but executing those ideas is the tough part.

Source: Light Reading

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13 Comments
  • This sure looks like proof that the T-Mobile/Sprint merger wouldn't have increased competition. Now that Plan A is out the window, Sprint will have to compete harder. Never fun to hear about job cuts though.
  • Exactly.. it would have created a 'stronger' carrier for Wall Street, NOT consumers, as they would have had little choice.. They then could have charged more in-line / close to ATT/Verizon.. maybe undercut a little.. but they wouldn't have to worry about scrappy T-Mobile anymore keeping them even lower..
  • I was with Sprint for almost ten years and I left them because they were increasing prices with promises that their network could not support. When they introduced their LTE phones they did not have the infrastructure to support it. So they were selling new phones that promised faster speeds but the network could not support it. The last straw was the fact that there was no network bandwidth to do anything while I was at work for several hours a day.
    Sprint needs to invest in additional network availability and bandwidth and try to support the customers they sign up.
  • Yea, I was a longtime Sprint customer and I bought the EVO 4G and yea, paid for HIGH SPEED - but it NEVER got off 3g. Talk about feeling used! Then, dropped calls, no data and eventually I had to leave them. I loved Sprint and the customer service rocked - and I would love to go back to them - but it would have to be a helluva an offer. They SHOULD give a 6 month service credit to lure people back (who were with them for a long time). Basically, I have had Sprint in Indy since I was 24 - and aside of about 4 years, I have been with Sprint. That is about 20 years with them. The good, bad and ugly.
  • Seriously, it takes a day to drop prices. you just do it. "You're bill is $10 less." done. Start the network upgrades day two. They won't so whatever.
  • Why do they always think cutting jobs will save money?
    Who is going to build this wonderful network? Fairies and pixie dust? Posted via iMore App
  • Well you know, with customer service so terrible you could go without customer service staff and still give better quality service. It does seem that if Sprint are 'cutting costs' they really were not in a position to purchase T-Mobile and it would have been bad for both companies if it had gone through.
  • I was thinking unicorns that farted rainbows! Lol Sent from the iMore App
  • because for most companies the biggest expense is labor. Thus cutting labor does save money. Also poorly run companies often have people allocated to do stuff that's not useful and thus they simply don't need them. Like take HP, they had tons of stagnant divisions with people doing stuff that wasn't helping and thus they didn't need them. Therefore they get rid of people. Now it's not always smart but it works. Also, the people they fire won't be the people they need to build the network. Apple bought beats and they are gonna fire the people that do stuff they already have covered like support staff. They are keeping the people that make Beats tick. Back to HP, they didn't need the webos people so they fired most of the ones that didn't have skill that work for hp divisions they need. It's common. To your point about who will build the network though, That's a place where they probably need to hire a lot more people, though from my reading the big problem with role outs of network upgrades is that they have to negotiate virtually every upgrade locations lease and those are mostly owned by separate people, like whomever happens to own the building is on top of.
  • Back in 2001 or 2002 I signed up with Sprint at their store locally, trouble was, once you left the store it was nigh on impossible to actually make a call. In fact when I got so frustrated that I called their customer service on the phone they had to phone me back on the land line and admitted that the phone was not usable. So they terminated the contract early and said no ETF. 5 years later I get a debt collection notice where they claimed that I owed them an ETF, thankfully I had the written letter stating there was no ETF. I was talking to someone a few days ago and they said that they had looked at Sprint and was told that they have great coverage. They got to their home and no voice. Certainly for a smartphone you should expect at least some form of data! It turns out they still don't have Data service of any form in the area. Strangely enough was talking to them today, they spoke to Sprint and they were called "Liars" and are now being charged an excessive ETF. I went to the Sprint Website and even their website shows NO DATA not just for a small part of the Valley but to get service you have to drive 20 miles to be within service distance for 3G and it is the same quality of Voice call that it was over 10 years ago. Maybe Sprint should rename themselves to CRAWL, because they have improved their network at a snail's pace rather than racing to do it.
  • I've been with them for over 10 years. I live in a good sized city with tourists year round. I still get dead data spots in several areas of town. Or it is just really really slow to the point of not even being useable. Customer service has always been top notch for me, but I'm also not they type of guy to yell at people over the phone. My contract is up, I'm just waiting on the new iPhone to come out so I can jump ship. Sent from the iMore App
  • I had Sprint for a year, canceled with no ETF due to Sprint Vision upgrades causing my home area to be one giant dead spot. As I complained, I would get bill credits for the lack of up time. After 60 days of getting nowhere and my wife upset that she wouldn't have a working phone until we crossed over to the next state, I asked for my contract to be terminated. After going through escalations my request was granted. All I had to do was send in the equipment. Fine. Deal. The phones blew anyway. I agree that if your network is crap, your pricing shouldn't be on the highest of tiers. Fire the dead weight and move on.
  • I wish them luck but it would take a hell of a lot to bring me back. Verizon is the only one that doesn't suck in my area but their prices and limited data caps suck too. Hopefully sprint can give them a run on competition. Sent from the iMore App